Read some of the latest thinking from our team
Our Blog

Our ideas and insights on building services innovations, industry sector trends and challenges, and creating inner beauty in building projects in Queensland and around Australia.

  • All
  • Aged Care
  • Architecture
  • Award News
  • Awards
  • Building Services
  • Careers
  • Combustible Cladding
  • Commercial
  • Construction
  • Education
  • Education
  • Electrical
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Event News
  • Events
  • Fire Protection
  • Fire Safety Engineering
  • Health
  • Health Care
  • Hydraulics
  • Interviews
  • Lighting
  • Project News
  • Residential
  • Resources
  • Retail
  • Retirement Living
  • Solar
  • Staff News
  • Water Meter Audits

Have your company water bills increased? It might be time to get your water meter audited.

In 2021, Urban Utilities and the City of Gold Coast introduced new ‘Simpler Pricing’ models* for water and sewerage meter services for their non-residential customer. They stated that their reason for this was to make pricing ‘more equitable, more consistently applied and aligned to a user pays principle’. However, as a result of the new…

We’re delivering some magical brewery hydraulic design!

Something Magic is brewing in East Brisbane! It doesn’t look like much now, but this East Brisbane location will be transformed into the home of Brisbane’s newest brewing company, Future Magic. Dean Carter and our hydraulic team will be designing the hydraulic services for the brew house, working with the founders Sean & Rhys to…

Feels like home: Re-imagining aged care in a post pandemic era

Ways of designing aged care that feels like home and can better meet people’s needs in a future pandemic was the challenge set to designers, innovators, planners and progressive providers that gathered together to rethink the future of residential aged care as part of the Longevity by Design charrette, hosted by The University of Queensland…

What does the new NCC Clause A2.2(4) mean for your building’s fire safety engineering design?

In Australia in February 2018, the Building Confidence Report was released. The report highlighted the lack of clear guidance for performance solutions in the existing National Construction Code (NCC). Processes and documents were often subject to practitioners’ own interpretations, resulting in inconsistencies in formats and standards. The Building Confidence Report provided a series of recommendations…

Meet our 2021 Longevity by Design Event Partners

DMA Engineers and the University of Queensland Healthy Ageing Initiative are thrilled to welcome three event partners on board for our 2021 Longevity by Design charrette. This year, the theme of the charrette will be FEELS LIKE HOME. Drawing inspiration from the global events of 2020 and 2021 that significantly impacted residential aged care facilities in Australia and…

VIDEO: Reduce drain blockages with vacuum drainage.

Can drainage go uphill without causing blockages? It sure can! Recently our Hydraulic design team visited a vacuum drainage manufacturer and Rory O’Malley took this video to demonstrate how it works. Keep your eyes on the red rag. In a conventional drainage system, an item like this would normally cause a blockage at the first drainage…

Longevity by Design returns in 2021!

DMA Engineers and the University of Queensland Healthy Ageing Initiative are thrilled to be bringing back our industry-wide collaborative workshop Longevity by Design in 2021. In 2021, participants will again be invited to collaborate to create visionary and innovate design to meet the needs of future seniors. This year, the theme of the charrette will be FEELS LIKE HOME….

Selecting light fittings for your next project? Check the LLMF for longer term savings.

Selecting lighting fixtures for construction projects can be a complex task. The number of product choices in the market is constantly increasing, but comparing these products is rarely just a case of comparing apples with apples. You might have heard us say at DMA that ‘it’s the things you don’t see that matter’. This is…

Copper vs Aluminium cables: which is best for electrical installations?

By Clyde Pellew, Principal Electrical Engineer Humans first started using copper some 10,000 years ago. For a long time it was the only known and used metal, and after its electrical properties were discovered it was exploited as the conductor of choice for electrical applications. However, our ever-increasing appetite for electrical products, and therefore demand…

DMA Engineers sponsor Excellence in Design Award at 2020 Retirement Living Awards

DMA Engineers Managing Director Russell Lamb has announced that DMA Engineers are sponsoring the Design Excellence Award at the 2020 Property Council of Australia National Retirement Living Awards. The National Retirement Living Awards celebrate high achievement across all parts of the retirement living sector. The Awards contain eight categories, recognising people and companies doing great work…

Longevity by Design wins Future of Ageing Award

Longevity by Design, the charrette co-founded by DMA Engineers and the University of Queensland Healthy Ageing Initiative to challenge the future of Senior Living Design, has won the 2020 Future of Ageing Awards Research Category. The Future of Ageing Awards are an initiative of Inside Ageing. You can read the official awards announcement and see…

Longevity by Design named as finalist in Future of Ageing Awards

DMA Engineers, together with our founding partner The University of Queensland Healthy Ageing Initiative, have been named a finalist in the research category of the 2020 Future of Ageing Awards for the Longevity by Design charrette. See a full list of all finalists in all categories here. The winners will be announced on 30 October…

Landlords: are your residential developments meeting Queensland’s smoke alarm legislation?

By Clyde Pellew, Principal Electrical Engineer Just before midnight on August 2011, a fire started on the ground floor of a house in Slacks Creek on Brisbane’s southside. It would go on to claim the lives of 11 people, the greatest loss of life in a domestic house fire in Australian history. In the inquest…

Connectedness and sharing key to longevity as we age.

By Russell Lamb  This post first appeared in Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) FUSION magazine in July 2020. To view the original article, click here: Click here to read (head to pages 46-47): https://lnkd.in/gmSbbMe I am fortunate to work in an industry that continues to innovate and look to the future. Over the past few years…

Energy Efficiency: does your building comply with NCC 2019 Part J?

Did you know that all new developments must now meet the energy efficiency requirements of NCC 2019 Part J? The aim of NCC is to use less energy for heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting and other energy-sourcing services used by buildings. The transition period from NCC 2016 officially expired on 1 May 2020, so all new…

DMA Engineers to help kids keep cool at 28 Queensland schools

We’ll be helping Queensland kids keep cool after they get back to school! ❄️ As part of the Queensland Government’s Cooler Cleaner Schools Program (CSSP), our Electrical team will soon start work on electrical assessments for 28 schools across Queensland, ensuring their electrical infrastructure is capable of handling their new air conditioning systems. We’ll be…

DMA Engineers farewells Director Andrew White

This week the team at DMA Engineers farewelled Director Andrew White. After more than 11 years with us, Andrew has decided to pursue other interests and opportunities outside of DMA. We send him off with mixed feelings – while we’re sad to see him go, we’re excited for him as he takes on his next…

Information for DMA Engineers Clients: Our approach to project and operations management in response to COVID-19

We often say it’s the things you don’t see that matter. No time has that been more accurate than right now as we take steps, along with businesses worldwide, to manage our business operations and continue delivery of projects for our clients during this unprecedented time. At DMA Engineers, we’ve set up a COVID-19 task…

Industry-wide charrette seeks to create innovative and visionary ideas for the future of senior living design

Changing our assumptions of ‘sixtyfive-ism’ and how we design communities and buildings for life in later years is the focus of a unique design challenge being held at The University of Queensland’s St Lucia Campus in February 2020. A joint initiative of UQ’s Healthy Ageing Initiative and DMA Engineers, with support from partners Paynters and…

DMA Engineers commence building services design work for Caboolture Hospital Redevelopment Stage 1

Caboolture Hospital is getting an upgrade and we’re excited to be part of the team delivering it! Caboolture is a rapidly growing area of South East Queensland, with a population largely reliant on public health services. The Caboolture Hospital Redevelopment Stage 1 project will improve access to services, and improve the hospital environment for patients,…

Mater Private Hospital Air Handling Unit Upgrade Wins 2019 AIRAH Award

DMA Engineers and VAE Group won the Best  HVAC Retroft or Upgrade Project Award at the 2019 AIRAH Awards in Sydney last night for the he Mater Private Hospital Air Handling Unit (AHU) replacement project. The project entailed the successful replacement of 22 existing AHUs with 25 new AHUs. It was a complex project that…

Insights from the Queensland Safer Buildings Checklist Part 3 industry breakfast

Last week DMA Engineers and McCullough Robertson hosted a joint industry breakfast event to provide a forum for discussion about the next stage of the Queensland Safer Buildings checklist. The event was attended by more than 60 members of industry, from building and facility owners to architects and certifiers. We kicked off with a presentation…

Mater Private Air Handling Unit Upgrade named as finalist in 2019 AIRAH Best HVAC Retrofit or Upgrade Award

You beauty! DMA Engineers and VAE Group have been named as a finalist in the 2019 AIRAH Award for Best HVAC Retrofit or Upgrade. The award recognises excellence in the retrofit or upgrade of a HVAC system – from planning through to engineering, documentation, teamwork, installation quality, workmanship, working in operational facilities, commissioning, and fit-for-purpose…

Safer Buildings Part 3: DMA and McCullough Robertson to host industry breakfast

BRISBANE EVENT. With the new Queensland fire cladding legislation set to come into effect in early 2019, DMA and McCullough Roberson Lawyers will be hosting an interactive breakfast event on 2 October 2019 to help answer questions about the legislation, what’s required for Part 3, and what the implications will be for buildings that are…

Combustible Cladding Crisis – No financial support from Queensland Government

By Koroush Keshavarz – Senior Associate, Principal Fire Engineer. Combustible cladding is no laughing matter. The dangers of highly flammable cladding were brought to the world’s attention when Grenfell Tower in London went up in flames, killing 72 residents. Governments around the world responded. The Queensland government was among them, with new legislation requiring all…

4 tips for hydraulics designs that will meet your building’s green goals (without breaking the bank)

By Rory O’Malley – Hydraulic Principal. A couple of weeks ago our hydraulic services team and the Sundale Garden Village project were awarded the 2019 Plumbing & Gas Industry Awards Hydraulic Consultant Design of the Year award. One of the main reasons we won came down to the innovation we applied to the hydraulic design…

Combustible Cladding Audit – What does Stage 3 involve?

The final deadline for eligible building owners in Queensland to organise a combustible cladding audit has passed. We now enter Stage 3 of the process. Learn more about the process of the audit itself below. STAGE 3 DEADLINE ENDS OCTOBER 31ST – UNDERSTAND YOUR OBLIGATIONS Legal Requirements A recently introduced Queensland legislation (in 2018) in…

A Quick Guide To Queensland’s New Plumbing and Drainage Laws

By Dean Carter – Hydraulic Designer The Queensland Government has passed some new laws relating to plumbing and drainage. Queensland’s plumbers and drainers, builders, developers, local governments, water service providers and homeowners can all expect some changes to the way they have previously managed their work. Wondering how they might impact you and your project,…

DMA named Hydraulic Consultant of the Year for Sundale Garden Village

We knew they were pretty good, and now we’ve got the evidence! At the 2019 MPAQ Plumbing and Gas Industry Awards on Friday night, DMA’s Hydraulics team won the AHSCA Queensland Consultant Design of the Year award for their work on the Sundale Garden Village project. The award was accepted by our Hydraulics team lead,…

Graduate Fire Engineer

Exceptional career development opportunity for graduate engineer Located in Spring Hill 2 minutes from the Central Station The Company DMA Engineers is a locally-owned building services consulting engineering firm at Spring Hill with a diverse range of clients including national companies. We provide Electrical, Mechanical, Fire Safety Engineering, Fire Protection Services, Vertical Transportation and Hydraulic…

The QBCC Cladding Assessment: Everything you need to know.

The QBCC cladding assessment is an initiative designed to assist building owners and property managers deliver on their obligations under new legislation introduced on October 1st, 2018. It has received quite a bit of attention in the media but plenty of building owners and facilities managers still aren’t clear about their obligations under the new…

How to do a basic building fire safety risk assessment

A building fire safety risk assessment is an essential process that will occur at least once, if not multiple times, in the lifetime of any large building. Whether commercial, residential or industrial, compliance with relevant legislative and regulatory requirements is critical for all building owners and managers. It ensures that the safety of all occupants…

The revision to sprinkler standard AS2118.1-2017: What does it cover….and what does it mean?

By Koroush Keshavarz – Principal Fire Engineer The new revision of the sprinkler standard has finally been adopted by the Building Code of Australia. The NCC 2019 Building Code of Australia Volume one issued in 1 May 2019 has referenced AS2118.1-2017 and AS2118.1-1999 has been phased out. In this post I’ll overview what the new…

Safer Buildings deadlines for combustible cladding extended for building owners

It was announced yesterday that the Queensland Government will provide an extension to the compliance period for Part 2 and Part 3a of its Safer Buildings checklist for combustible cladding. This follows a significant number of requests to the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) from building owners and body corporate managers for extensions to…

Councils crack down on approvals for temporary building site structures and amenities

By Rory O’Malley – Hydraulic Principal Recently we’ve been informed that Queensland Building & Construction Commission (QBCC) and local council authorities are cracking down in their enforcement of rules relating to the compliance of plumbing and hydraulic design for temporary building site amenities and temporary site sheds. Under the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2002, structures that…

Looking to add additional utility metering to your multi-tenant retail facility? Answer these 4 questions first.

By Shawn Sellick – Principal Mechanical Engineer. As building services engineers, we’re often asked by clients to incorporate additional utility meters (over and above the standard authority meters) into multi-tenant retail facilities Sounds like a simple request, right? Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. If we don’t have a proper understanding of the client’s needs and…

The Future of Health Design: My 6 key insights from the 2018 World Hospital Congress and the Health Care/Health Design Forum

By Russell Lamb – Managing Director. What will hospitals of the future look like? All of us who work in health design have a significant role to play in this, but keeping up with changes in technology and innovation, as well as understanding what people (not patients, users, or consumers) actually want from the health facilities that…

DMA to host Philip Halton, Deputy Commissioner of QBCC, for Fire Cladding Event

BRISBANE EVENT. With the new Queensland fire cladding legislation set to come into effect in early 2019, DMA will be hosting an event on 13 December 2018 to help answer questions about the legislation, what’s required, and what the implications will be for buildings that are found to have non-conforming cladding. The event is targeted…

DMA launches free reviews of hydraulics design documents for a limited time

We know how hard it can be as a plumbing contractor to find the time to properly review the design documents you receive from your consultants on D&C jobs. But a proper review can help you to identify if there are things you could leave out, or things that are missing, that could result in…

How to make future design provisions for solar installations: a case study for architects

By Duncan Stegmann – Electrical Engineer.   Like many technological developments, solar photovoltaic (PV) technology has matured a lot over the years and is now more affordable and accessible than ever. As a result, supply authorities are increasingly seeking to prolong the life span of existing electrical infrastructure by encouraging excess generation back into the…

How to sell an aged care bed: an interview with Jordan Fitzgerald from Marketplace Strategy Solutions

By Nicholas Danicic – Electrical Engineer.   “The target market is the sons, daughters and families of the potential residents. Very few elderly people self-admit into aged care and that places the onus on facilities to target a demographic 20/30 years below their client’s age.” This is one of the first insights that Jordan Fitzgerald of Marketplace Strategy…

Senior Living Innovation Event: what do seniors want now and in the future?

BRISBANE EVENT. What do seniors in Australia truly want from their living environments? This is a question that those of us who work in the built environment and construction sector constantly ask, and a question which a QUT led research project is seeking to answer. Senior Living Innovation is a major research collaboration between QUT and…

Why you need up-to-date building services plans for your buildings.

By Andrew White – Director. When we’re engaged to work on a redevelopment, expansion or refurbishment project, one of the first things we do is go hunting for up-to-date copies of the as-built services plans for the building. Here is what we often find: No plans. Of if there are plans, they’re out-of-date and don’t…

3 steps to avoiding building services issues in leasing agreements

By Shawn Sellick – Principal Mechanical Engineer. I recently worked with a leasing agent who had signed a new tenant to a building lease only to discover that the installed building services of the office space didn’t actually match those indicated in the leasing agreement. In this instance, the facility was supposed to include a…

4 ways energy modelling can help reduce construction costs

By Matthew Lacey – Mechanical Engineer. With rising material costs and a shortage of skilled labour, it’s no surprise that construction costs for commercial and other buildings across Australia are still on the rise, and that construction firms are facing ever increasing pressures on their margins. The upcoming update to the National Construction Code (NCC)…

Tackling Legionella: How to assess and minimise your risk

By Rory O'Malley - Hydraulic Principal/Senior Hydraulic Designer. I recently heard of some health care facilities in Australia that are removing their drinking water fountains and supplying their patients and visitors with bottled water in order to prevent the spread of Legionella. Is this really a necessary step? Or have we gone too far? If...

Communications Technology in Aged Care

By Grant Steinback - Electrical Building Services Specialist. When undertaking an aged care development or redevelopment, deciding what communications technology to incorporate during the planning phase can be overwhelming. With literally thousands of products on the market, it can be difficult to assess what technology is essential, what is a ‘nice to have’, and what...

Was external cladding to blame?

By Koroush Keshavarz - Senior Associate-Principal Fire Engineer. With so many lives lost in the recent Grenfell Tower fire, serious questions are beginning to be asked of the building management and local authorities about how fire safe the building really was, and whether the proper fire safety precautions were in place. The cause of fire...